What are the functions of sex hormones?

Sex hormones are chemicals synthesized in the sexual organs. In the ovaries, in the case of women, or in the testicles, in the case of men.

Its synthesis is directly conditioned by the action of another hormone: GnGH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) in the pituitary gland, which in turn secretes gonadotropins. These are, finally, those in charge of stimulating both the testicle and the ovary.

The precursor of sex hormones is cholesterol. It differs in male and female sex hormones. These hormones can be synthesized to improve the quality of life in patients with conditions such as breast and prostate cancer or fertility and uterine dynamics.

Among the female sex hormones we find estrogens and prostagens., both synthesized in the ovaries. As for the male, we find androgens, synthesized in the testicles.

female sex hormones


Chemical structure of estrogen with medical material
Estrogens maintain the ovarian cycle, but can exert actions on other systems such as bone tissue.

Estrogens are responsible for the differentiation of secondary female characteristics. They are also responsible for check your menstrual cycle and promote bone growth in women.

When they are separated the synthesis of progesterone receptors in utero is increased. This will facilitate a series of actions that we will explain later.

estrogen they also have metabolic and cardiovascular actions, as they retain sodium, salt and water. Sodium retention has consequences in menopausal women since, having a resilient capacity, they promote bone loss. This is why many women have to undergo hormone treatments.

When a person undergoes high-dose estrogen treatment these sex hormones act as contraceptivesFurthermore:

  • Reduce glucose tolerance.
  • Promote the synthesis of coagulation factors and plasminogen and decrease the synthesis of prothrombin III. Therefore, the thrombotic risk increases.
  • Increases the synthesis of renin and angiotensin and promotes the release of aldosterone. These people should have their blood pressure checked, as there may be changes in its value.

Progestogens or progestogens

Female symbol with pink pills
The decrease in progesterone causes the onset of menstruation in the woman’s cycle.

As we mentioned before, release of estrogen immediately increases the number of progesterone receptorswhich favors the interaction between the two.

When progesterone binds to its receptors, the direct consequence is that the amount of binding between estrogen and its receptors decreases. This factor is good, as progesterone prevents endometrial hyperplasia.

As we have said, estrogens are the sex hormones in charge of controlling secondary female characteristics, such as the uterus. As, whether estrogens maintain their activity or are increased this disease can develop.

In this way, progestogens transform the estrogenic endometrium into a secretory endometrium.

Moreover, progesterone is the sex hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy. Therefore, when the levels of this decrease, menstruation appears. It also promotes the synthesis of milk in the breast.

Unlike estrogen, this hormone blocks aldosterone receptors. Furthermore, during ovulation the body temperature rises by 0.5 ÂșC.

male sex hormones


Male reproductive system and structure of testosterone
Male hormones promote the growth of male sex organs and muscle mass.

Androgens have masculinizing actions. They promote the development of male genitalia and that of secondary characters. On the other hand, synthetic androgens can be used in diseases such as:

  • Male hypogonadism.
  • Anemias: increase the synthesis of erythropoietin in the kidney for its anabolic action.
  • Breast cancer: in cases refractory to other treatments or as an adjuvant.
  • Anorexia.

The anabolic action is due to the fact that increase protein synthesis therefore they increase muscle mass.

In short, among the functions of this sex hormone we find the stimulation of spermatogenesis in the seminiferous tubules. Moreover, promotes the maturation of spermatids in semen.

It also promotes penis growth, the scrotum and the sex secretory glands, as well as that of the testicles. Finally, it increases hair growth and libido, i.e. sexual desire.

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